Ecological awareness starts at school, then university and continues in to our professional lives. But the groundwork has to be done from the start; by building sustainable young minds!
How do we create sustainable schools for our youth to prosper in an eco-friendly future? Environmental sustainability starts with awareness and knowledge gained throughout the course of life. The initial and most crucial awareness though, is created at the grass root level: in a sustainable school.
Humans are, unfortunately, the creators of waste in the world at every level of consumption, be it through the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the modes of transport we use, and even when we are turning a blind-eye to the litter, we are silently partaking in its growth.
The earlier we groom our kids to stop littering; we are grooming environmentally sustainable young minds that will carry forward the cultivated habit.
Knowledge indeed is power and it is a powerful key to change. The future generations will have the biggest influence and impact on the world and schools play the greatest part in its education.
Five great things schools can do to bring about environmental awareness are:
1) 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) – beside these, there are other R’s including the sense of ‘Responsibility’ of each individual for his her own waste; ‘Respect’ towards mother nature; ‘Resist’ from unnecessary items and the oversupply of things; Take what you need for living and ‘Refuse’ what’s unnecessary; ‘Return’ what you do not need; ‘Repair’, don’t throw stuff away; ‘Reach’ out! - Become a green leader or eco champion in your school or institution, inspire your classmates and teachers, your parents and friends; and of course, ‘Recycle’ by creating a collection point, learn about the various materials and start segregation of recyclable and compostable material.
2) Appointing green eco teams or green ambassadors are a great way to create awareness in school. Develop initiatives like a vegetable and herb garden with wild flowers for the birds and bees; plant fruit trees as well as a composting area to create your own soil.
3) Start collecting recyclables everyday in school with the help of your peers. Create a segregation action and bring recyclables from home to avoid unnecessary transportation.
4) Conduct awareness workshops and environmental sessions about topics such as calculating your carbon footprint of your school and publish it daily to raise awareness.
5) BYOB – Bring Your Own Bottles to school; don’t buy plastic bottles or tetra packs in school for your drinks. Make the cafeteria a green cafe with no disposable waste or single-use items. BYOC – Bring Your Own Cutlery to avoid plastic cutlery.
Be Active, Be Loud, Be Natural and start your green initiative today!